The Carthusian Order is supposed to be the most austere order in the world, but I also read the same of the Cistercians. I’m sure other orders might have their fair reason to claim to be the most vigorous as well.
But, what makes life in their orders so hard? What parts of their daily living are particularly strenuous? Aside from not eating meat (as is the rule of the Carthusians, and I’m not sure if Carmelites still have that rule in the books), and aside from doing bodily penance as a rule (it seems only the Carthusians still are required to do this, but please do correct me if I’m wrong), how is life in a monastery really tough? How is it so tough that there are postulants whose bodies just can’t take the rigor of it to the point where they have to leave?
There is the prayer, but one can do that outside of a monastery too. Secular Priests are obligated to do the Hours as well.
What makes monks spiritual athletes?
I’m not doubting the assertions of course, but I’m having a hard time picturing life inside of an enclosure and understanding what makes it what it is. I’m also looking for tips on how I could adopt monastic elements into my life for my own spiritual growth too.